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15 Films to See in July

Written by on July 5, 2017 

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The heat of the summer season is upon us, and with it comes the most promising tentpole line-up of the year thus far. (Along with it, there’s perhaps the best film I’ve seen in several years.) After you finish catching up on the best films of 2017 so far, kick off the second half of this year with our recommended picks below.

Matinees to See: Bronx Gothic (7/12), To the Bone (7/14), Chasing Coral (7/14), The Fencer (7/21), Killing Ground (7/21), Kékszakállú (7/21), Strange Weather (7/28), Brigsby Bear (7/28), and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (7/28)

15. Person To Person (Dustin Guy Defa; July 28)

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Synopsis: Follows a variety of New York characters as they navigate personal relationships and unexpected problems over the course of one day.

Trailer

Why You Should Watch It: One of the more divisive films to come out of Sundance this year, the 16mm-shot Person to Person packs quite the varied ensemble — from Michael Cera to Isiah Whitlock Jr. to Philip Baker Hall, not to mention a number of discoveries — and looks to be an intimate, funny look at a day in New York City.

14. War for the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves; July 14)

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Synopsis: After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

Trailer

Why You Should Watch It: I have no doubt that War for the Planet of the Apes will go down as one of the most-acclaimed films of the year; I found little to like in it. “War for the Planet of the Apes has all the bombast and sense of finality seemingly required for the end of a trilogy, but there’s an underlying emptiness that nags with each scene,” I said in my review. That said: if you enjoyed Dawn and Reeves’ technical craft, I imagine you’ll find the experience more redeeming.

13. Women Who Kill (Ingrid Jungermann; July 26)

Women Who Kill

Synopsis: Commitment phobic Morgan and her ex-girlfriend Jean, locally famous true crime podcasters, suspect Morgan’s new love interest is a murderer.

Trailer

Why You Should Watch It: One of our festival favorites of the past year-plus is finally getting a release. “Morbid curiosities make for unusual romantic comedy fodder in Ingrid Jungermann’s perceptive and often very funny Women Who Kill,” we said in our review from last year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Now set for a debut later this month, the first trailer has arrived for the film which follows ex-girlfriends who host a serial killer-obsessive podcast and, when a mysterious woman joins the mix, mystery begins.

12. Menashe (Joshua Z Weinstein; July 28)

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Synopsis: Within Brooklyn’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community, a widower battles for custody of his son. A tender drama performed entirely in Yiddish, the film intimately explores the nature of faith and the price of parenthood.

Trailer

Why You Should Watch It:  The road to a respectable life is a demanding one for Menashe. He barely makes enough money as a grocery clerk to pay the rent of his small apartment. He is shunned by his family, neighbors, and boss for not conforming to the customary way of life. He’s in danger of losing complete custody of his son following the death of his wife. While aspects of this logline could be the basis for more than a few character studies released each year, Menashe sets itself apart by its striking specificity, taking place in an ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community of Brooklyn and performed completely in Yiddish. I said in my review, “Director and co-writer Joshua Z Weinstein understands that this entry point into the story must be more than just that and crafts an intimate, sympathetic portrait of faith and fatherhood.”

11. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Jon Watts; July 7)

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Synopsis: Several months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man as a new threat, the Vulture, emerges.

Trailer

Why You Should Watch It: If you’ve been following my writing for any period of time, you’ll quickly learn that I find tentpole comic book movies, on the whole, to be watered-down, fleeting experiences. I’m pleased to say, then, that Spider-Man: Homecoming is the most fun I’ve had with one in years. “Despite succumbing to the seemingly inescapable monotony that pervades most final setpieces in this genre, the film exudes a charismatic quality of nimble fun with its playful direction and lighthearted lead performance,” I said in my review.

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